Tea with Angela Buttolph



Angela Buttolph - journalist and author

“So where did the obsession with Kate Moss come from”? I ask  Editor of Grazia Daily, Angela Buttolph as we chat over tea in Browns Café in Brown Thomas. “No one has every asked me that before”? says Angela, which surprises me since she is the author Kate Moss: Style Icon. Angela was in our fair city to present an evening of the hottest shoe trends and tips in Brown Thomas. Customers got an insight into the fashionable mind of someone who is in touch with fashion in a way that few get to experience. “I worked in the supermodel era, which was the epitome of fashion. I think this [era] made fashion change direction”, explains Angela. “It was when Kate was seeing Johnny Depp that she came into her own. She was like an iconic movie star”. Kate is something Angela and I have in common. I love her, almost grew up with her as the model du jour, right through my own teenage modelling career. There have been ups and severe downs (we won’t talk about those) but recovery has been her subconscious mantra. We see her and we follow suit (no pun intended). I often wonder where that kind of influence comes from and then I pinch myself to remember that this is Kate Moss we’re talking about. I tell Angela that I find it astounding that Kate has spanned decades and her stylish prowess is gaining momentum and not diminishing, unlike so many others whose fame came and went with the 1990s (like what on earth happened to Karen Mulder???). Take for example her recent attire at Mulberry; let’s say I will not be experimenting with double denim anytime soon.  I’ll leave that one to Miss Moss. Or Mrs Wince to give her the correct title.

But back to the task at hand, Angela has many a style secret which Brown Thomas customers tapped into at this wonderful event held in the shoe rooms (my second home). Angela’s tip is to “take the shoe and work back”. Make the shoe your statement and be bold! But her ultimate tip for this season is to make a purchase of statement trousers, “slim cut trousers that you can wear with flats”. I like this one already, any excuse to feel smart but comfortable is always a winner with me. Case in point, Angela was wearing a pair of cropped emerald green pants with black Polka dots from Topshop. Do as you say, and all that jazz.

With Grazia being the multi media publication that it is, in terms of print and online, I had to know whether a challenge lies between the two mediums and how they avoid internal competition. “The magazine is the mother ship”, says Angela. Deadlines are key and on occasion a big story can break on a Friday when the magazine goes to print, and then fizzle over the weekend right before Grazia hits the stands every Tuesday. I guess that this is the ultimate nightmare for a journalist who is looking forward to seeing their breaking story in print, only to find that one trip to rehab has resolved the latest celebrity fall to shame. Angela’s example is the cover story of Demi and Ashton separating on Friday only to head off to Kaballah camp and suddenly it’s all happy families.

Grazia opens up each week with ten hot stories. “But it’s not just fashion, the features department look at female human interest to investigative stories”, like a pre-prison interview the magazine had with the recently released Amanda Knox. Who would have known that the interview would become relevant all over again? I think this is amazing foresight on behalf of the features team and it certainly keeps me in touch with our worldly issues. And it’s this balance of lifestyle with current affairs that makes Grazia the most popular weekly magazine in the UK and Ireland. I had to congratulate Angela on the triumphant September issue of the magazine which was the largest issue ever. More than competing with its counterparts in print, it kept me going for weeks! I didn’t ask if this issue will be an annual occurrence for the magazine but here’s hoping.